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Administrative changes in Punjab: Bureaucracy or CM, where does problem lie?

It is widely believed that this is the high time that the Prime Minister of Pakistan thinks about replacing his first man in Punjab. What are the challenges to make Usman Buzdar un-happen?

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Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar, is once again in the limelight for his inability to run the province as per the commitment of Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan. Before coming into power PM Imran promised to change the dynamics of governance in Punjab. However, the current chief minister has almost shattered the dream—promised change.

According to latest reports, the Punjab government on Tuesday replaced the provincial police chief and chief secretary days. National Police Foundation (NPF) Managing Director Shoaib Dastaghir was appointed as the new Inspector General (IG) of the province replacing Amjad Javed Saleemi, while Interior Secretary Azam Suleman replaced Yousaf Naseem Khokhar as the provincial chief secretary.

However, well-placed sources claim that the Prime Minister wants to replace the CM Buzdar but that “Chaudhary brothers do not want Buzdar to go anywhere. Pervez Elahi is the most powerful man in the province because of an inexperienced chief minister who is even unable to work with bureaucracy,” sources maintain.

PM Wants to Replace Buzdar?

Experts and political commentators are not quite satisfied with the performance of CM Punjab. According to a recent notification issued by the Punjab government, it has now 38 spokespersons. The notification was ridiculed by many social media users who maintained that the government must focus on performance, not on its image management without delivery of services.

The Punjab government is also accused of blessing anyone who has joined the party after winning the elections as independent, either as minister or spokespersons of adviser. It has raised some serious questions for the future of CM Buzdar.

Read more: Calls for Buzdar’s replacement: PTI leaders eager for Punjab CM’s ouster

As a matter of fact, there is no change in Police. The PTI promised before coming into power to reform the actions of the police and to make it a model institution. But after assuming the offices, the party has failed to introduce any change which might have impacted the performance of the police across the province.

It has disappointed many of PTI’s supporters who were expecting to live in a Naya Pakistan. Ayaz Amir, a prominent journalist, recently noted that there is no denying that the incumbent government is facing economic challenges, but who has stopped Usman Buzdar to reform the activities of the police?

Similarly, there has been no substantial change in the health sector either, where the current Minister tried to introduce some projects but they were already initiated by the PML-N. The PTI has failed in Punjab to introduce any structural change to upgrade health facilities in public hospitals.

“Make Buzdar un-happen”

Prominent political commentator and Editor Fahd Hussain, argued a few months ago that “make no mistake: there is trouble — serious trouble — in Punjab.” Fahd argues that the CM Buzdar has little or no control over police and bureaucracy in the province. “This trouble starts with the Chief Minister’s control, or the lack of it, over the running of the province. Yes he travels regularly across the land suspending an odd official here and a random bureaucrat there, but his grip is weak on the affairs of the domain he lords over,” he wrote months ago.

Read more: Is Usman Buzdar trying to be more Powerful?

While proposing solutions to ensure better governance in Punjab, Fahd suggested that “now Khan needs to make him (CM Buzdar) un-happen if he wants to return to his original vision. Today Punjab is a mess. Forget competing with Shehbaz; the province is on the brink of a major crisis.”